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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies have raided a Tempe company and arrested 27 employees.

Sheriff's officials say 23 workers at Sportex Apparel were taken into custody Friday afternoon on suspicion of identity theft and being in the country illegally.

They say four other employees were arrested on outstanding criminal warrants.

Search warrants were served at the company after sheriff's officials were alerted that unauthorized workers were employed by Sportex Apparel.

Sportex Apparel officials didn't immediately return calls Friday on the raid and the employee arrests.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio says it was his office's 71st false identification operation.

Associated Press,

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